What are SEER Ratings and why are they important to my wallet?

One of the most frustrating purchases a homeowner will make is a new air conditioning system for their home. It is always frustrating because the purchase is not because you want to buy a new air conditioner, rather it is out of necessity because it no longer works, or it is about to stop working. A new ac unit is a large investment and it is important to know what you are purchasing.

When you are in the market for a new air conditioning system you will hear your Jacksonville AC Contractor discuss SEER Ratings. So what are SEER Ratings and why is it important to know what it means? SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, which is the resulting number applied to an air conditioning system. The higher the SEER rating the more efficient the air conditioning system will be.

As a homeowner we are always looking to save money, one of the main contributors to your electric bill will come from your air conditioner. The higher the SEER rating the more money you will save. Below you will learn the annual cost for a 15 SEER rating unit, which can be used as a guide to calculate other SEER ratings.

  1. First we need to calculate BTU’s, which stands for (British Thermal Unit). One ton is equivalent to 12,000 BTU’s, so if you have a 5 ton unit that will be(5 ton x 12,000 BTU)= 60,000 BTU’s. Divide the 60,000 BTU’s by the SEER rating of 15 = 4000, which is the number of watts/hr your unit is consuming. Transition that to Kilowatts (1kwh=1000watts) by taking 4000/1000= 4 kwh/hr.
  2. If your unit is running 8 hours per day x 30 days= 240 hours/month to annualize the hours take 240 monthly hours x 12 months= 2,880 annual hours.
  3. If you look at your energy bill you will find the Energy charge per kwh. JEA charges ($.06624 per kwh)
  4. Now you can calculate yearly energy cost by taking (4kwh x 2880 hrs x $.06624/kwh) =$763.08/yr.

The higher the SEER rating the lower the monthly cost will be, however this will provide you with an example to go by. To get a true reading on cost always consult with your air conditioning contractor as they will be able to give you an accurate assessment of your energy consumption, the SEER rating of your unit and your local utility cost per kwh.

As of 2006 the Federal Government mandated the minimum SEER rating to be at 13 SEER, however SEER ratings can go as high as 26 SEER. Just recently the US Department of Energy has mandated 14 SEER minimum requirement for our region specifically. Remember to always weigh your options and most importantly your budget, as the higher the SEER rating the higher your investment.

If you are in the market for a new air conditioning system, call A-Affordable Air for a free consultation. We will consult you on the most efficient and economical air conditioning system for your needs and budget. Call us today (904) 771-0550.